Larry Tee created the label Mogul Electro and the NYC Electroclash festival several years ago. He had an extensive history behind the scenes already. He had written a disco hit for Ru Paul.
He capped a moment when he patented the name "electroclash" and applied it to the group of bands which were using Electro and risque/bored lyrics to update the sound of 80s synthpop.
Now it is 2004 and the name "electroclash" has become unfashionable. Many people say he doomed the success of the term by patenting it first, then filling the newly named bag with bands to represent the style second.
'Electroclash 2' follows the two compilations he released on his label and the full length by WIT. It no longer relies exclusively on the talent of NYC bands, though some are represented here.
I really like the Proper Filthy Naughty, Future Wives, and Barcelona tracks. I also like the Freezepop, WIT and Badd Inc. tracks, though I had known them previously, which decreased their impact for me.
Ex Rental and Dead Sexy Inc. sound pretty fine too.
On the CD, songs 13 and 14 are switched around.
- Water - Gater
Gater is NYC electronic music artist Brian Suarez. His 'Taboo' and 'Chloe' EPs were released on Munich's Dekathlon records. Water is a new song for this comp. He plays male vocal electropop in the classic Electroclash mold.
- I Surrender - W.I.T. (Punx soundcheck mix)
I really liked the WIT record and wondered why it never became more popular. But I have listened to this song too many times at this point, and wish that a new song was featured on this compilation. The new mix is not enough to hold me.
- Feelings Are Not Enough - Neon Music
When Larry Tee last played Boston, he was telling us to be on the lookout for this new Boston band which he loved. With such high praise, Feelings Are Not Enough comes as a let down. It has overdriven distorted vocals like a digital hardcore song from Atari Teenage Riot. The song doesn't really go anywhere - the energy seems undirected and undeveloped.
- Parlez-vous Freezepop - Freezepop
Freezepop are still the finest band in Boston to me. they started off sounding kind of like the J-pop band Hi-Posi, but have become a playful band with their own personality.
- Disease - Kitbuilders
Kitbuilders are a Cologne based duo that have been releasing stuff for several years. Disease is a female vocal electro track that has great production and sharp playing.
- Sex Fiend - Jamie Summers
With a mix by Dave Aude. The vocals imitate Cherie Curie in The Runaways song Cherry Bomb. The song is OK, but doesn't go anywhere - it just takes the one idea and sticks with it. The lyrics are a bit cliche too.
- Fascination - Proper Filthy Naughty (The Droyd's ghetto mix)
The Droyds have always captivated my ears, from their 7inch with a Duran Duran cover Girls On Pills, to their version of Ramones Beat On the Brat on the God Made Me Hardcore compilation. The Droyd's mix of Proper Filthy Naughty's song (it is not a Human League cover) is ace. The sound is typical Electroclash, with a 2 note synth line, female spoken/sung vocals and a steady drumbeat, but it rises above and achieves greatness by not attempting to be more than it is, and by perfect execution. This track would fit in any disco set.
- Dark Side of the Man - Future Wives
This is my favorite song on the compilation. The song starts with the sound of a whip and a cat meowing. A male and a female vocalist trade off a list of their desires. "What do you want? - I want a pony. What kind of pony? - A pony to ride. What do you want? - I want the sunset. You can't have the sunset - Then I want a Corvette." The song has the same appeal as the Creme-de-menthe song Plastique, and is just as good.
- X-treme Fashion - Badd Inc. featuring Tobell Von Cartier
I like this song, but have listened to it many times in a different mix on the Badd Inc. compilation, so its impact here is blunted for me. However. it remains a good track.
- Mama Killer Night - Capri
From Argentina, Capri have appeared on International DJs Gigolo Records Compilation Five, and were even on the 2002 Mayday CD. Mayday is a festival that takes place each year in Poland or Germany, with a CD released as well. Mama Killer Night is classic Electroclash with male vocals.
- Studio Hair Gel - Barcelona
Another favorite on this comp, Barcelona have been putting out electronic pop for several years. In fact, this song was a single for them in 2000. On this track, the vocalist sounds like The Waitress', and the lyrics even name checkHoward Jones - funny, as one of the anti-electroclash articles I read recently dismissed the scene as Howard Jones wannabees.
- Nightclub People (pas serleux) - Ex Rental
A London trio that have a bit of Human League when Wendy or Jess sing, and a bit of Depeche Mode when Sean sings.
- Stimuli - Oliver Dodd
Closer to the vocoder origins of electro than the Miss Kittin side of electro, Oliver Dodd have female vocals, but mostly lots of classic electro sound.
- She's Driving me Home - Dead Sexy, Inc.
Male and female vocals, and guitars and synths. Lots of stuff going on. A pretty good track.
- I Kissed a Ghost - Love is the Blood of Destruction
Viscious - Spalding Rockwell
Both these songs are together as track 15.
- Evacuation - Somnabulants
Male vocal sounding a bit gothic, or at the very least early 80s.
- Splendid - Tom Flair
Vocoder male vocals and electro music. Somehow this track makes me think of the Air song Kelly Watch the Stars.
Note: the CD lists 18 songs, though there are only 17. The Spalding Rockwell cut comes right after the Love is the Blood of Destruction track without changing track numbers. The list above is accurate.
---Carl, February 3, 2004